184 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
But he was not understood because of the noise of the milk. Presently the landlord came into the stable and said,
" To-morrow this cow is to be slaughtered."
At that Tom Thumb felt very terrified ; and with his shrillest voice he cried,
" Let me out first; I am sitting inside here ! "
The master heard him quite plainly, but could not tell where the voice came from.
" Where are you ? " asked he.
" Inside .the black one," answered Tom Thumb, but the master, not understanding the meaning of it all, went away.
The next morning the cow was slaughtered. Happily, in all the cutting and slashing he escaped all harm, and he slipped among the sausage-meat. When the butcher came near to set to work, he cried with all his might,
" Don't cut so deep, don't cut so deep, I am underneath ! "
But for the sound of the butcher's knife his voice was not heard. Now, poor Tom Thumb was in great straits, and he had to jump nimbly out of the way of the knife, and finally he came through with a whole skin. But he could not get quite away, and he had to let himself remain with the lumps of fat to be put in a black pudding. His quarters were rather narrow, and he had to be hung up in the chimney in the smoke, and to remain there a very long while. At last, when winter came he was taken down, for the black pudding was to be set before a guest. And when the landlady cut the black pudding in slices, he had to take great care not to lift up his head too much, or it might be shaved off at the neck. At last he saw his opportunity, took courage, and jumped out.
But as things had gone so badly with him in that house, Tom Thumb did not mean to stay there, but betook himself again to his wanderings. His freedom, however, did not last long. In the open fields there came a fox who snapped him up without thinking.
" Oh, Mr. Fox," cries Tom Thumb, " here I am sticking in your throat; let me out again."
" Very well," answered the fox. " It is true you are no better than nothing; promise me the hens in your father's yard, then I will let you go."
" With all my heart," answered Tom Thumb, " you shall have them all, I promise you."